The Garnett's Italian Vacation
Italy | Sep 3 - Sep 14, 2022

K
Kristie G.
Midland, TX | Reviewed on Sep 20, 2022

We enjoyed touring Rome with Maria. She was very knowledgeable and interesting as she explained the history and pertinent details of the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Vittoriano Monument, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and Vatican. The Hotel Raffaello was a beautiful and quiet hotel that was centrally located in a safe neighborhood. We enjoyed the breakfasts at the hotel and were treated well by the hotel staff. Our rooms were clean, spacious, and comfortable. The small shower was the only... read more

We enjoyed touring Rome with Maria. She was very knowledgeable and interesting as she explained the history and pertinent details of the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Vittoriano Monument, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and Vatican. The Hotel Raffaello was a beautiful and quiet hotel that was centrally located in a safe neighborhood. We enjoyed the breakfasts at the hotel and were treated well by the hotel staff. Our rooms were clean, spacious, and comfortable. The small shower was the only challenge we encountered.
We loved our trip to the Amalfi Coast. Luigi picked us up at the Naples Train Station to drive us to Amalfi, and he is a safe driver who is kind and easy to talk to. On the way, we stopped at Pompeii for a tour with Antonio. We enjoyed him very much. He explained everything so well, but was also hilarious in doing so with lots of laughs and jokes throughout.
We arrived at La Bussola hotel in Amalfi and loved our stay here with a beautiful view of the coastline and harbor. We loved our boat trip to the island of Capri and had a wonderful captain who informed us of the various landmarks along the coast and would drive the boat up into caves and grottos so we could get a better look. The island of Capri is beautiful and our only complaint is the lines were so long with people waiting on cabs, buses, or tram tickets to get to the city center. It seemed like everyone had arrived at the island at the same time, and the accommodations for transportation were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people. We ended up just renting some beach chairs and enjoying the sea because it was such a hot day, instead of traveling to the city center. If we come back and it's possible, we'd like to have our tickets to the tram ahead of time so we don't spend hours waiting in line on the island.
Our free day on the Amalfi coast was spent enjoying the beach. We rented chairs with umbrellas and enjoyed cooling off in the water and skipping rocks.
Thank goodness for Andrea! There was a train strike on the day we were supposed to travel from Naples to Rome, and then Florence. Andrea arranged for our driver, Fabio, to pick us up at our hotel and then drive us to Rome to drop off our sons, who were flying home the next day. Fabio then drove us to Florence. He was a safe driver who did so well managing the steep and curving road leaving Amalfi, even though the roads were slippery and wet. We were really grateful that he drove us all that way, knowing he had had a long day starting from and returning to Naples.
Florence was beautiful, and we were grateful our guide, Lucia, was able to get us in to see the David sculpture at the Academia Gallery. There was some question that this might not be possible due to the strike. We walked around Florence, and she did a great job of detailing the history and landmarks of this marvelous city. The next day we rented a car and drove to Pisa and throughout the Tuscan region to see the beautiful countryside. Driving outside of Florence was easy, but it was a little nerve wracking trying to leave Florence and avoid the no-auto zones. We hope we did it right, and dont' receive a surprise ticket sometime in the future.
We took the train to Venice the next day and met our guide Natasha for our behind-the-scenes Venice tour and Cinchetti. We enjoyed this walking tour so much and Natasha was a fantastic guide teaching us about the history and interesting landmarks of Venice. We, especially loved St. Mark's Square and the view from the bell tower. The next day we cooked with Gioia in her private apartment, and made homemade Tiramisu and pasta with tomato/bell pepper sauce. It was delicious, and we enjoyed talking with Gioia and learning more about Venice and Italian culture. We took a gondola ride later in the day, and then rode the water ferry to tour Venice.
We returned to Rome by train the next day, and took a walking tour to see the famous sites once again. This time, we took the lift on the Vittoriano Monument to see the city from above. Well worth it, even though we climbed many, many steps.
Our driver picked us up the next day and took us to the airport, and we headed back to Texas.
Andrea did a wonderful job in planning our trip. He picked wonderful hotels and we really enjoyed our personal guides. We were so grateful for his personal attention before and during our trip, letting us know when schedules were altered, and arranging a car with driver for us when we couldn't use the train. Italy is a beautiful country with so much to see and do. We look forward to returning soon!

Hotel Reviews
Hotel Raffaello
Roma

We enjoyed our stay at this lovely and conveniently located hotel. Our only criticism is the very small shower. The ladies that served and worked the breakfast buffet were so exceptional. They kept everything neat, tidy, and well-supplied, and were so kind and helpful each morning.

Authenticity & Character
The decor seemed appropriate for the age and period of the building.
Location
We enjoyed that we were in walking distance to many great restaurants and sites.
Staff
Very helpful at the desk and with the breakfast buffet.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Our rooms were nice and cool with comfortable beds.
Hotel La Bussola
Amalfi

We loved the breakfast buffet with so many wonderful choices. The upstairs bar area was so comfortable and inviting. Our balcony view was spectacular.

Authenticity & Character
Location
We loved the view of the coastline and harbor and were in easy walking distance to the shops and restaurants.
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Our rooms were clean, comfortable, and spacious.
Hotel Il Guelfo Bianco
Florence
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Ca' Pozzo Inn
Venice

We loved our quiet hotel in a good central location.

Authenticity & Character
Modern and neat room with plenty of space.
Location
Staff
Very kind and helpful staff.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Rome Private Guided Walk
Rome

So much detailed history. Maria was kind, professional, and thorough in her explanations.

Quality of Experience
Loved the history and beautiful architecture.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Seeing so many sights
Colosseum and Roman Forum - Private guide
Rome

Loved the amazing history of this area!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel - private guide
Rome

We loved seeing this amazing city and country! What a beautiful and holy area! The amazing artwork and architecture were exceptional.

Quality of Experience
Wonderful tour.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Great job Maria on educating us about the Vatican!
Transport
We took a cab, and our driver was aggressive. We arrived safely after a thrilling ride!
Pompeii ruin visit with a private guide
Italy

We loved Pompeii. Amazing archeaological site! Antonio was fun and humorous as he educated us in Pompeii's history, archaeology and culture.

Quality of Experience
So cool to see this amazing city preserved throughout the centuries by volcanic ash.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Loved Antonio's sense of humor and instruction method. He does a great job!
Transport
Luigi was a kind and safe driver. Enjoyed talking to him and learning more about Italy!
Day trip to Capri Island from The Amalfi Coast - small group
Italy

This was our favorite day because we loved being on the water and the coastline is so beautiful!

Quality of Experience
Loved the water, coastline, and island. Got to see the coast up close with our captain driving the boat into some caves.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
He pointed out local landmarks and drove the boat to interesting points along the coast and island.
Transport
Loved the boat ride - safe and relaxing
Florence private guided walk including Accademia Gallery
Florence

Florence is beautiful with so many wonderful sites to see! Most things were in easy walking distance.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Lucia was easy to listen to and so informative! Great job!
Transport
Off the beaten path and cicchetti experience
Venice

Loved seeing areas of Venice that were less familiar.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Natasha was great! Very informative and interesting.
Cooking Class
Italy

Loved getting to see a local's apartment and visiting with Gioia as we cooked.

Quality of Experience
Loved getting to make Tiramisu and homemade pasta!
Food
Delicious!
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Gioia is very knowledgeable and kind. Her home is lovely, and our lunch was delicious.
Local specialist: Andrea Gambino
Andrea
Andrea Gambino
Local specialist in Turin, Italy | Reviewed on Oct 05, 2022

Hello Veronica,
thank you very much for your detailed review. It is very helpful to us for keep on imporving and offering quality trips.